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We are the 99 percent

CHARAS Celebration Tomorrow

Posted 12 years ago on Dec. 17, 2011, 5:38 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt



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[-] 3 points by shifty2 (117) 12 years ago

OWS PLEAS get back on track and take up the cause of the 99% http://www.amazon.com/Throw-Them-All-Out-ebook/dp/B0062N35X8/ref=pd_rhf_se_p_t_3 back on track.

[-] -1 points by nth (21) 12 years ago

They are on Track. Quit dictating what they should be doing.

[-] 2 points by shifty2 (117) 12 years ago

Yes they are only the wrong track, If you are for the movement then what about my freedom of speech and ideas. You are part of the problem.



[-] 3 points by korzib9 (80) from Newark, NJ 12 years ago

Why should anyone outside a very tiny subset of NYC care about Charas?


[-] 1 points by poultree (1) 12 years ago

"Charas for everyone was a community space. It hosted a wide range of activites and events and was home to a myriad of groups. It was public space retaken after the city abandoned it and remade to suit the community. Charas is a microcosm of what "occupy wall street" is. The history of Charas and the eviction of a community by a shady group of investors that "paid off" the city can be paralleled as a few major banks evicitng the country from their homes. In the longer version it is also the criminalizing of communtiy activists retold to see how things havent changed. The Young Lords "considered criminal" took over Charas as an abandoned husk. Occupy Wall Street is also a "criminalized" and "demonized" group.

[-] 1 points by NewWorldNow (83) 12 years ago

How many people do you think even understand what this is? I sure don't.

[-] 1 points by elevenfoxtrot (5) 12 years ago

And once again OWS gets sidetracked - the fact is the building was bought and paid for legally - it is owned by someone - it would be a cold day in hell when OWS would get thru the doors of that building if it belonged to me

[-] 0 points by TimD (1) 12 years ago

To the Doubters Who Feel this Action Is Off Message:

The first poster asked, "Why should anyone outside a very tiny subset of NYC care about Charas?" The same could've been asked of Zuccotti Park/ Liberty Park, too. Until the day when it couldn't.

CHARAS was started by former gang members and provided a space for artists, neighborhood residents and many of the political organizers who've gone on to hone and re-introduce the consensus process to another generation of agitators.

Without spaces -- and not just those of the outdoor variety -- we can't come together. Part of the reason that agitation waned a good deal in NYC is because we lost those spaces during the last decade. It wasn't so much 9/11 that killed dissent, but the skyrocketing cost of real estate.

The fairly sterile downtown park with an even more sterile red sculpture allowed for us to come together in a way that we haven't been able to here for so long - and that's despite the minimal sunshine that hits the park as well as its ruthless hardscape.

Just imagine if we had a space that provided plumbing. Not to mention a roof over our heads. That's the infrastructure required for big dreaming. And we need some of it now.

[-] 0 points by TimD (1) 12 years ago

PRESS RELEASE: Friends and Supporters of CHARAS/ El Bohio Create a Community Center in the Street to Mark the Ten-Year Eviction Date


With performances by Great Small Works, Hungry March Band, Reverend Billy & the Church of Stop Shopping, and the People's Mic. Kid Friendly Activities include Face Painting, Dancing and Art!

To mark the ten-years that has passed since the eviction of an historic East Village community center, protestors and local residents will be creating a “Curbside Community Center.” Their “Center” will feature live music, a potluck and a speak-out outside the fenced-off former public school building at 605 East 9th Street, where the CHARAS/ El Bohio Community Center had operated from 1979 until the police eviction on December 27, 2001.

“The building has been locked and empty for the last decade,” said Carlos 'Chino’ Garcia, Executive Director of CHARAS. “It once was once a hub for community activists, artists and Lower East Siders. Now it’s just an eyesore.”

But the hundreds of people who are expected to gather on Sunday aren’t just celebrating the history of CHARAS. Their fiery-colored banners speak to what they hope will be its future. “Community Dreams, Not 1% Schemes,” one banner reads. Another references the blue construction fence enclosing the property with a riff on Ronald Reagan’s iconic Cold War quote: “Mr. Bloomberg: Tear Down This Wall.”

They want the building back, and believe that CHARAS has the community support and proven track record to make this transfer of property possible.

For over 20 years, CHARAS had served the low-income, activist, and artist communities of the Lower East Side, providing space for studios, performances and galleries, as well as workshops, English classes, after-school programs, and meetings for countless neighborhood organizations. In 1999, despite widespread opposition, the City auctioned CHARAS to private developer Gregg Singer. After a five-year battle, CHARAS was evicted on December 27, 2001. The building has sat vacant and derelict ever since.

The property is restricted for community use, and the terms of sale required Singer to submit a development plan within 45 days of purchase. Mr. Singer has spent the last decade attempting to get special permits, tenants and funding to develop a nineteen-story youth hostel and also a dormitory. In 2007, in an effort to stop the building from being landmarked, Singer destroyed several of the building’s decorative cornices. The Landmark application was approved despite the damage; however the building has remained open to the elements and the roof has been compromised.

“We kept the building alive for twenty years, and Singer has been unable to create anything for the community in ten,” Howard said. “It's time we get our building back.”

[-] 0 points by gratefulsteve (11) 12 years ago

I am so frustrated with OWS, I can explode. Following the November eviction, it seemed clear (at least to me) that OWS was going to still occupy Zuccotti Park minus the equipment. And for a few weeks, that worked. When times got tough and security and police placed all sorts of restrictions on Zuccotti, OWS methodically started pulling all support away from Zuccotti, although there was still a consistent occupying force, many of whom were homeless. One by one the supports were pulled away...food, clothing, medical care, on-site meetings. OWS folks were publically stating that they have no obligation to help the OWS homeless and a rift resulted. I worked in the park for three weeks during this period and used my own funds to feed the people and tried to help heal the rift, but it was an impossible challenge.. What we have left today is a small handful of folks who are basically on their own....many of them are forced to beg for money for essentials. In all press releases and public announcements, OWS states that "we lost our home at Zuccotti" so they unofficially have proclaimed that there is no point in going to Zuccotti anymore. And then, instead of encouraging masses of people to assemble at Zuccotti, OWS comes up with a rediculous plan to try to occupy a totally unoccupiable space, which resulted in dozens of arrests and bad press coverage. All acts of defiance are not necessarily good ones as was demonstrated on Saturday. RETURN TO ZUCCOTTI!!! It is available...it is in a strategic location, thousands of people pass it every day. CARE FOR THE OWS HOMELESS!!!! And if you do not want to reoccupy Zuccotti minus the equipment, come out publically on this forum and state clearly that Zuccotti is closed for OWS business. Oh...and while all of this OWS nonsense has been taking place, Obama passed the defense bill, with the "lock you up forever with no due-process" clause. Not a word was uttered about this by OWS...no demonstrations...no marches. Oh...and great idea using a convicted cop killer/con artist-Mumia as a motivational speaker!!...I'm getting ready to explode.

[-] 0 points by shifty2 (117) 12 years ago

It would be easy now for the military to classify OWS as suspected terrorist and lock them up , Via orders from the Washington, Ows broken for ever. This sound's far fetched and Like science fiction but under the new law very possible. Next comes civil war.